Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday, March 6th.
According to Zacks, “Prudential is set to grow on its high performing asset management business, international operations and deeper reach in the pension risk transfer market. It strives to build a leadership position in the pension risk transfer market. Expanded international presence provides it with better organic growth opportunities than peers. Focus on Protection, Retirement and Investment Management businesses will continue to help Prudential maintain a leadership position. Also, a strong balance sheet and efficient capital management are the company’s tailwinds. It expects ROE between 12% and 13% in the near-to-intermediate term. However, exposure to still low interest rates, an unfavorable currency impact and regulatory control remain headwinds. Shares of Prudential have underperformed the industry in a year's time. Also, the company witnessed its estimates moving south in the last 60 days.”
PRU has been the topic of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co set a $122.00 target price on Prudential Financial and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Atlantic Securities raised Prudential Financial from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. B. Riley reiterated a buy rating on shares of Prudential Financial in a report on Monday, November 6th. Deutsche Bank decreased their price target on Prudential Financial from $132.00 to $125.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Prudential Financial from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $118.45.
Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The financial services provider reported $2.69 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.64 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $15.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.87 billion. Prudential Financial had a return on equity of 9.29% and a net margin of 13.41%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.46 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Prudential Financial will post 12.06 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.90 per share. This is an increase from Prudential Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 20th. Prudential Financial’s dividend payout ratio is 20.10%.
Prudential Financial announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, SVP Barbara Koster sold 16,801 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.17, for a total value of $1,934,971.17. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 37,327 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,298,950.59. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Stephen Pelletier sold 40,729 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.75, for a total value of $4,429,278.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.66% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PRU. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC lifted its position in shares of Prudential Financial by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 13,045 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,499,000 after acquiring an additional 433 shares in the last quarter. Seaward Management Limited Partnership raised its position in shares of Prudential Financial by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Seaward Management Limited Partnership now owns 42,653 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,904,000 after buying an additional 450 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC raised its position in shares of Prudential Financial by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 5,142 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $586,000 after buying an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. raised its position in shares of Prudential Financial by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 52,269 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,010,000 after buying an additional 483 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Allied Advisory Services Inc. raised its position in shares of Prudential Financial by 4.5% in the third quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 11,820 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,253,000 after buying an additional 507 shares in the last quarter. 66.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc, is a financial services company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, offers a range of financial products and services, which includes life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. The Company’s operations consists of four divisions, which together encompass seven segments.
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